Tuesday, September 18, 2018

New Chain & Sprocket Time

After returning from Tasmania earlier this year my chain and sprockets had well and truly surpassed their used by date and were badly in need of replacement. So what did I do? I did what all great procrastinators do, nothing!!!!

I went on a few more rides just to stretch the heck out of it some more, before finally biting the bullet and booking it in for replacement. Why all the procrastination you ask? Well it's probably an inherent trait in my DNA or quite possibly I'm just a complete lazy bastard, who really knows. 

One of the reasons for taking so long was that I wanted to change the standard gearing. Anyone who has ridden a 2015 R1 knows how tall first gear is. I wanted to change the gearing a little bit by going down 1 tooth on the front and going up by either 2 or 3 teeth on the rear. I spent a bit of time looking at what people had done on forums. Another great resource for this is a website called Gearing Commander. You can put in your bike and it will show your stock gearing and you can then make informed decisions on what effects changing the sprockets will make.

The standard R1 gearing is 16F/41R. Looking at the standard gearing chart you can see the R1 will do 156kmh in first gear and is geared for a whooping 325kmh in top(I've seen 295kmh and it still had more to go).

I finally settled on a 15F/44R which is -1/+3 over the standard gearing. What effect does this have you might ask? Top speed has been reduced down to a miserly 284kmh(who cares I rarely do that anyway on our highly policed roads) but what it has done it put a huge amount of usable power lower down where its more usefull. 

It will now roll off the line letting out the clutch where before it would stall unless you gave it some useful rev's. There is plenty of usable power in every gear including top, just roll on the power and it takes off, 6th gear now feels like 5th gear was on standard gearing. The throttle doesn't feel quite as snatchy in lower gears either. Oh an it wheelies like a bastard now, lucky I can put the lift control on if I need to.

First ride impressions were pretty good. The front will come up with ease in first gear without even trying, so I'll need to be a bit careful with that but it's pretty punchy now everywhere. One downside will be now it runs at about 500 rpm more in top gear so it will probably use slightly more fuel, I'm hoping the offset of that is when it comes to the twisties I was always in first gear, now perhaps I will be able to be in 2nd or 3rd and use less fuel in those sections which uses more fuel than straight highway miles. Time will tell as I've only been out for one overnight ride so far.

44 Teeth


  1. youve turned the bike into a stump pulling tractor farm boy...

    1. You need some stomp pulled out, i charge you double...

  2. Chain? Sprockets? What are these things you speak of?

    So, how many km on them ya maniac? I did have a spark comment about fuel consumption but don't want to exceed my quota...

    1. I ended up with just over 28,000kms on the original set. I remember Jules saying he got 40,000kms out of a set on his ZX-14. Not sure how you can make them last that long without being completely knackered.

      No quotas here mate, roll on.......

    2. “I ended up with just over 28,000kms on the original set. I remember Jules saying he got 40,000kms out of a set on his ZX-14. Not sure how you can make them last that long without being completely knackered” - um, by lubricating them? That last ride we went on you didnt even take chain lube. Fit it up with a Tutoro chain oiler and never worry about lubing it again!
      Maybe I should drop a tooth on the front of my R1? Lift control would take care of it........

    3. That last ride we went on the chain was already F*cked. The bike shop was ordering a new one when they put he tyres on. Why would I bother oiling a chain that's already rooted?

  3. Yes I got 40K kms out of the OEM set up, but barely 30K from the next. But I ride the ZX14R as a touring bike and I'm OCD about chain maintenance. Glad you've got it sorted without any drama Steve.